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NavSource Online: Aircraft Carrier Photo Archive


Contributed by Mike Smolinski
(Larger image (359Kb) contributed by Steve Connelly)

USS WASP   (CV-18)
(later CVA-18 and CVS-18)



Flag Hoist/Radio Call Sign: November - Alpha - Lima - Juliet


CLASS - ESSEX (Short Hull)
Displacement 27,100 Tons, Dimensions, 872' (oa) x 93' x 28' 7" (Max)
Armament 12 x 5"/38AA, 32 x 40mm, 46 x 20mm, 82 Aircraft.
Armor, 4" Belt, 2 1/2" Hanger deck, 1 1/2" Deck, 1 1/2" Conning Tower.
Machinery, 150,000 SHP; Westinghouse Geared Turbines, 4 screws
Speed, 33 Knots, Crew 3448.

Operational and Building Data
Initially named Oriskany. Built by Bethlehem Quincy. Laid down 18 Mar 1942, renamed to honor CV-7 26 Sept 1942, launched 17 Aug 1943, commissioned 24 Nov 1943. Damaged by bombs off Kyushu 19 Mar 1945. Decommissioned to reserve 17 Feb 1947.  SCB 27A reconstruction at New York Navy Yard started 9/1948, completed and recommissioned 28 Sept 1951. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 18) 1 October 1952. SCB 125 angled deck modernization at San Francisco Navy 3/1955 to 1 Dec 1955.

FATE
Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 18) 1 Nov 1956. FRAM II life extension 1967. Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 1 July 1972. Sold to Union Minerals & Allys Corp., NYC, 21 May 1973. Scrapped in Kearny, NJ, by Lipsett Div. of Luria Brothers, NYC.


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Size Image Description Contributed
By And/Or Copyright
The Early Years — World War II
CV-18 Wasp
NS021877
531k

USS Wasp (CV-18), World War II.

Overhead plan and starboard profile meticulously drawn by John Robert Barrett. Available from Navy Yard Associates (if you decide to purchase artwork from them please indicate that you heard about their work from NavSource).

Navy Yard Associates
CV-18 Wasp
NS021823
107k

Ready for launching, at the Bethlehem Steel Company shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, 17 August 1943.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (Photo #: 80-G-K-14048).

Scott Dyben
CV-18 Wasp
NS021823a
121k

Launching, Bethlehem Steel Company shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, 17 August 1943.

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021823b
382k

This group of officers had just received a promotion and attended the launching ceremony of Wasp (CV-18). They are identified as (left to right): (LT(JG)) Katzenstein, (CDR) Leahey, (LT) Kintzel, (LCDR Fred M.) Larson, (LT) Baldwin, (LT(MC)) Edgerly, (?) Chaleston, (LCDR(MC)) Foley, (?) Funston, and (LT R.D.) Taylor.

NS021823c: Memorandum for the Captain of USS Iowa (BB-61), dated the day before, 16 August 1943.

Christopher Larson, grandnephew of Fred M. Larson
CV-18 Wasp
NS021823c
88k
CV-18 Wasp
NS021818
89k

Underway at sea in the vicinity of Trinidad, with planes parked forward, apparently in preparation for landing aircraft, 22 February 1944.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (Photo #: 80-G-221142).

Scott Dyben
CV-18 Wasp
NS021818a
215k

Another view, as above.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.488.053.032. Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection.

Mike Green
CV-18 Wasp
NS021832
85k

Boston Navy Yard, March 14, 1944. Wasp is believed to have been the first carrier camouflaged in Measure 33, Design 10A.

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021833
85k

As above. Good port side view of Measure 33, Design 10A.

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021876
49k

Starboard side view of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-18) in March 1944 wearing Measure 32/10A camouflage. It may be observed that Wasp had a 40 mm quad mount forward of the island, as well as four dedk-edge radio masts. USN Photo.

Photo and text from "Aircraft Carriers of the U.S. Navy," by Stefan Terzibaschitsch.

Robert Hurst
CV-18 Wasp
NS021834
195k

A TBM-1C Avenger from VT-14 early in Wasp's combat career (no markings on the tail), June 1944, ends up in the water after a failed cat shot.

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021835
195k
CV-18 Wasp
NS021836
136k

SB2C-1C Helldiver from VB-14 collides with one of Wasp's 5" gun mounts returning from a raid on Palau, August 1944.

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021837
147k

This SB2C Helldiver from VB-14 ended up "in the drink" after a bad landing, August 1944.

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021819
89k

Flight deck crews prepare to load a Mark XIII torpedo on a TBM aircraft, during strikes in the Luzon-Formosa area, 13 October 1944. Note plywood shrouds on the torpedo's fins and nose. Plane at right is an F6F, others visible are TBMs.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (Photo #: 80-G-298609).

Scott Dyben
CV-18 Wasp
NS021820
78k

Third Fleet aircraft carriers at anchor in Ulithi Atoll, 8 December 1944, during a break from operations in the Philippines area. The carriers are (from front to back): USS Wasp (CV-18), USS Yorktown (CV-10), USS Hornet (CV-12), USS Hancock (CV-19) and USS Ticonderoga (CV-14). Wasp, Yorktown and Ticonderoga are all painted in camouflage Measure 33, Design 10a. Photographed from a USS Ticonderoga plane.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (Photo #: 80-G-294131).

Scott Dyben
CV-18 Wasp
NS021820a
135k

Another view, as above.

National Archives photo (# 80-G-294129).

Gerd Matthes, Germany
CV-18 Wasp
NS021807
78k December 11, 1944 photo of the Wasp at sea. USN
CV-18 Wasp
NS021874
93k

"Island structure of the (USS Wasp) as seen from the bow with battery of 5" guns in the foreground." 23 December 1944. Photographer: T4 Thomas Kane.

U.S. Army Signal Corps photo (SWPA-SigC-45-958). U.S. National Archives (SC 265315).

Dave Kerr
CV-18 Wasp
NS021874a
89k

"A crew chief gives visual taxiing instructions to a pilot who has just landed on the (USS Wasp in Central Pacific) waters, helping thim to clear the way for another incoming planes." 23 December 1944. Photographer: T4 Thomas Kane.

U.S. Army Signal Corps photo (SWPA-SigC-45-961). U.S. National Archives (SC 265317).

Dave Kerr
CV-18 Wasp
NS021874b
83k

"Plane from the (USS Wasp, cruising in Central Pacific) waters, takes off for combat patrol." 23 December 1944. Photographer: T4 Thomas Kane.

U.S. Army Signal Corps photo (SWPA-SigC-45-964). U.S. National Archives (SC 265320).

Dave Kerr
CV-18 Wasp
NS021875
107k

"Planes of the (USS Wasp), with wings folded, secured on the flight deck between combat patrols." 24 December 1944. Photographer: T4 Thomas Kane.

U.S. Army Signal Corps photo (SWPA-SigC-45-960). U.S. National Archives (SC 265316).

Dave Kerr
CV-18 Wasp
NS021875a
87k

"Blinding flashes of sulphur colored flames, and earsplitting detonations from the firing of a battery of twin five inch guns, keynotes sleave target practice aboard the (USS Wasp)." 24 December 1944. Photographer: T4 Thomas Kane.

U.S. Army Signal Corps photo (SWPA-SigC-45-962). U.S. National Archives (SC 265318).

Dave Kerr
CV-18 Wasp
NS021875b
111k

"To clear the flight deck of damaged planes, large elevators operate between decks; center elevator is shown taking a plane below." 24 December 1944. Photographer: T4 Thomas Kane.

U.S. Army Signal Corps photo (SWPA-SigC-45-963). U.S. National Archives (SC 265319).

Dave Kerr
CV-18 Wasp
NS021882
73k

A U.S. Navy Curtiss SB2C-4 Helldiver of Bombing Squadron (VB) 86 in the landing pattern over the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-18), in 1945.

Tommy Trampp
CV-18 Wasp
NS021824
154k A really unique shot taken from the catwalk under the bow of the 40-mm gun crew and the Mk.51 director for that gun. January 1945. National Archives. Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021838
80k

USS Wasp in late January 1945, being refueled by USS Chipola (AO-63). Note the early flag bridge with lower quad 40mm's and the hangar deck catapult.

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021839
77k

USS Wasp at Ulithi, February 1945, airing her laundry from the hangar deck.

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021885
115k

USS Wasp (CV-18). Date for the photo was given as 15 March 1944 but, judging from ship's equipment and paint, was probably taken in the second quarter of 1945.

Courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CV-18 Wasp
NS021840
138k

Two interesting pictures of the USMC detachment.

Top: Circa April 1945. Note the "early bridge" with the forward quad 40mm gun tub on the island and her dazzle paint.

Bottom: At some later time. Same spot, after island had been modified and the ship repainted in a new camouflage scheme.

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021841
121k
CV-18 Wasp
NS021858a
107k

Bow view, port side, of USS Wasp (CV-18), 2 June 1945. Puget Sound Navy Yard photo (# 2799-45).

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.488.053.037. Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection.

Mike Green
CV-18 Wasp
NS021858b
119k

Head on view of USS Wasp (CV-18), 2 June 1945. Puget Sound Navy Yard photo (# 2802-45).

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.488.053.038. Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection.

Mike Green
CV-18 Wasp
NS021858
90k

Stern view, port side, of USS Wasp (CV-18). June 2, 1945. Puget Sound Navy Yard photo (# 2803-45).

Original copy submitted by Tracy White,
Researcher @ Large.
Larger copy courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CV-18 Wasp
NS021878
48k

Portside view of the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-18) in June 1945 once more painted to Measure 21. The usual disposition of the 40 mm AA at that time is visible: one quad forward of the island has been removed, three more are fitted on the starboard side, and those furher aft are moved forward. There are only two deck-edge masts now. USN Photo.

Photo and text from "Aircraft Carriers of the U.S. Navy," by Stefan Terzibaschitsch.

Robert Hurst
CV-18 Wasp
NS021879
126k

USS Wasp (CV-18) at anchor on 9 June 1945, out of Puget Sound. Note the Mk-51 Mod 2 radar on the port side of the bow quad mounting—an arrangement which obstructed controlled firing to starboard. Beginning with Wasp, the Mk-51 was no longer fitted on a separate control pedestal between the island and the second forward 5/38 turret, but on the island itself. On some ships the identification number on the forward flight deck, which was always painted in a dark colour, was orientated to be read from the front. This caused some misunderstandings, especially when an escort carrier with the number 81 [USS Rudyerd Bay] entered the fleet, and these forward deck numbers were later reversed. Radar and electronica at this time consisted of: Radar SK, SP. Fire control: 2 Mk-37 directors with radar Mk-12/22 and 2 Mk-51 Mod 2 (for 5"); also 4 Mk-63 directors with radar Mk-28, 2 Mk-57 directors with radar Mk-29 and 12 Mk-51 (for 40 mm).

Photo and text from "Aircraft Carriers of the U.S. Navy," by Stefan Terzibaschitsch.

Robert Hurst
CV-18 Wasp
NS021879a
123k

Broad on starboard bow view of USS Wasp (CV-18). 9 June 1945. Puget Sound Navy Yard photo.

Courtesy of Scott Koen & ussnewyork.com
CV-18 Wasp
NS021879b
157k

Broad on, port beam, of USS Wasp (CV-18), 9 June 1945. Puget Sound Navy Yard photo.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.488.053.042. Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection.

Mike Green
CV-18 Wasp
NS021879c
143k

Dead ahead view of USS Wasp (CV-18), 9 June 1945. Puget Sound Navy Yard photo.

US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1996.488.053.047. Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection.

Mike Green
CV-18 Wasp
NS021842
157k

Wasp had her hull number painted upside down on the forward part of the flight deck for some reason. Hornet also started out this way but someone with a little authority thought it looked stupid and had it painted right side up shortly after entering combat.

Although this photo is undated, it must have been taken in June 1945 or later, as Wasp didn't have the port catapult until then. (Thanks to Tracy White, who pointed this out).

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021843
151k

One of Wasp's F4U-1D's from VBF-86 does a flip onto an SB2C-4, July 1945.

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021844
91k

Photo taken from Wasp's island looking aft over her 40mm's and 5" DP guns showing her airgroup, August 1945.

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021801
112k

At sea in the western Pacific, 6 August 1945.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (Photo #: 80-G-261904).

Scott Dyben
CV-18 Wasp
NS021845
94k

Carrier Operations off Japan, August 1945 — A Japanese aircraft is shot down just off the starboard bow of USS Wasp (CV-18), during operations off Honshu, Japan, 9 August 1945. Two Fletcher-class destroyers are in the foreground. Photographed from USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31), the image includes two frames, showing the scene just before and after the crash. The original caption identifies the aircraft as a Grace (Aichi B7A2).

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (# 80-G-455702).

NHC
CV-18 Wasp
NS021887
138k

A Royal Navy T-class destroyer steams next to the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-18) in August 1945. The destroyer's pennant number is obscured (D4?). Five T-class destroyers and the carrier HMS Indefatigable (R10) were part of Task Group 38.3 in August 1945: HMS Teazer (D45), HMS Tenacious (D46), HMS Termagant (D47), HMS Terpsichore (D48), and HMS Troubridge (D49). The two funnel rings identify the ship as part of the 24th destroyer flotilla (all T-class destroyers). As the vertical stripe identifies the division leader in the flotilla (the second senior commander), the destroyer is most probably Terpsichore. In the distance are a long-hull Essex-class carrier, probably USS Randolph (CV-15)—flagship for RADM Gerald F. Bogan—, and the battleship USS North Carolina (BB-55).

U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No. 1977.031.074.099. This image is part of a photograph album that was acquired by RADM Joseph C. Clifton during his service as Executive Officer of Wasp during World War II.

Robert Hurst
CV-18 Wasp
NS021821
86k

Task Force 38, of the U.S. Third Fleet, maneuvering off the coast of Japan, 17 August 1945, two days after Japan agreed to surrender. Taken by a USS Shangri-La (CV-38) photographer. The aircraft carrier in lower right is USS Wasp (CV-18). Also present in the formation are five other Essex-class carriers, four light carriers, at least three battleships, plus several cruisers and destroyers.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives (Photo #: 80-G-278815).

Scott Dyben
CV-18 Wasp
NS021846
148k

Like Hornet (CV-12) and Bennington (CV-20), Wasp had her flight deck smashed, too, but two months later, after the war was over, in a typhoon on August 26th, 1945.

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021847
89k
CV-18 Wasp
NS021848
92k

Wasp's scoreboard on the forward bulkhead, hangar deck level just behind the forecastle.

It reads left to right, "Enemy bases attacked, 36 islands / Major cities attacked, Tokyo, Saigon, Manila, Camranh Bay, Hong Kong, Canton, Kure // Aircraft destroyed in the air by ship's gunfire and AirGroup 14, AirGroup 81 and AirGroup 86, 230 / AirGroup 14, AirGroup 81 and AirGroup 86, Aircraft Destroyed on ground, 405 // Ships sunk, 114 / Ships damaged, 234."

Steve Whitby
CV-18 Wasp
NS021871
344k

V Division aboard USS Wasp (CV-18) during WW II. The only two identified are A.J. "Lucky" Lewis and his best friend Edmund "Ski" Kotoski, both kneeling on second row on left side.

David Long comments: "8th Sailor from the right, bottom row, kneeling is Seaman James C. Long, my father."

Chip Lawson comments: "My Dad, Talmadge Lawson, was a gunner on board the Wasp. He is located on the third row from the bottom and 16th from the left."

Jim Lewis, son of Alfred J. Lewis

For more photos and information about this ship, see:

View the Wasp (CV-18 / CVA-18 / CVS-18)
DANFS History entry located on the Naval Historical Center Web Site.

Crew Contact And Reunion Information

Contact Name: Mr. Richard G Van Over
Address:6584 Bunting Rd Orchard Park, NY, 14127-3635
Phone: 716-649-9053
E-mail: None

Additional Resources
Hazegray & Underway World Aircraft Carrier Pages By Andrew Toppan.
Official U.S. Navy Carrier Website
USS Wasp Association Web Page
  Search YouTube for videos related to "USS Wasp CV-18"  

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Last update: 6 December 2013